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Sugar Ants (with chimney)

Camponotus sp.


I spotted these odd little structures along the trail that belong to "sugar ants". These ants make elaborate chimney-like nest entrances. I saw two of these chimneys, each approx. 2.5 cm in height, and I can only surmise their purpose is to prevent the nest from flooding. I tapped gently on one and a little head popped up (1st and 2nd photos). Camponotus is a genus in the ant family Formicidae... The ants in this spotting are worker ants, body length approx. 10 mm.


Spotted on a dirt track near the Mt. Norman day use area in Girraween National Park. Sandy soils, lots are granite boulders, substantial undergrowth and leaf litter in dry sclerophyll forest, and sections of the track were still damp due to recent rains. Here's some park info -

Notes: Note the chimney (7th photo down), constructed by Camponotus molossus, Perth WA. Another species I found is Camponotus intrepidus, Mansfield, Victoria... I'm unable to find any reference of these species being found in southeast Queensland. Are there any other Camponotus species that construct this type of entrance?

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 10 months ago

That's exactly what I thought too, Mark. It was constructed on fairly level ground (3rd pic).

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 10 months ago

Best theory I've heard for them is they can deal with slight flooding.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Mar 7, 2020
Submitted on Mar 12, 2020

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